UST fate up in crucial IATF meeting


    THE clock is ticking.

    Will authorities sanction coach Aldin Ayo and University of Santo Tomas? Will the school file a leave of absence? Will they go scot-free, although unlikely?

    Amid these burning questions, UST’s fact-finding committee wrapped up its internal probe over the alleged training bubble held by the Growling Tigers at the hometown of Ayo in Capuy, Sorsogon City since mid-June and submitted its findings to the UAAP last Friday.

    The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, through a panel composed of the Games and Amusements Board, Department of Health, Philippine Sports Commission, and Commission on Higher Education, will meet with UST and UAAP officials anew tomorrow to discuss the outcome of the probe and possibly decide on the fate of UST.

    Also expected to show up in the meeting are National University officials to give their side on the reported workouts by their women’s volleyball team at their Sampaloc and Laguna campuses.

    The UAAP Board held a meeting last Friday and tackled the findings of UST’s investigation.

    In 2006, La Salle was suspended for one season and was banned from all sports after its men’s basketball squad fielded two ineligible players in Mark Benitez and Tim Gatchalian from 2003-2005.

    The Archers forfeited all their games during that time period and surrendered their basketball title in 2004. The crown was eventually given to Far Eastern University.

    After the stunning exit of former Tigers’ skipper CJ Cansino last Aug. 28, guard Brent Paraiso has also left UST.

    “Nakakalungkot pero kailangan. Mahal na mahal kita UST,” Paraiso said on his twitter account @brentparaiso last Saturday.

    Paraiso, who played two seasons under Ayo at La Salle where they won a title in 2016, averaged 7.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists for the Tigers in the last UAAP cage wars.
    Star forward Rhenz Abando is also said to be leaving UST and reportedly joining reigning NCAA champion Letran.

    Last Friday, it was reported that part of the P3 million budget allocated for the Sorsogon bubble was allegedly used to upgrade the ABC (Ayo Basketball Camp) Ideas Gym, reportedly owned by Ayo.

    Ayo’s wife, Mina Joy, fired back and said on a social media post that their camp is just waiting for the conclusion of the investigation before they clear the air.

    “Patapusin lang natin ‘yung investigation. Sasagutin ko lahat ng accusations n’yo of course with bebe girl. Just be ready,” said the coach’s wife on her Instagram account @minajjoooyyy. The post, however, has been deleted.

    With UST facing accusations of violating the IATF’s stringent health protocols, UST Institute of Physical Education and Athletics (IPEA) director Fr. Jannel Abogado, OP, resigned Tuesday last week and was replaced by Fr. Ermito de Sagon.

    The Tigers’ bubble got was burst after Cansino was booted out of the team due to “defiance of authority.”